Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has warned that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s exit treaty is a “Remainer’s Brexit”, and if Parliament passes it, the United Kingdom will “never be free from EU rules”.
Mr Farage made the comments on Saturday in response to reports that Mr Johnson was dropping the “threat” of a clean-break Brexit from the Conservative election manifesto.
The Brexit Party leader said: “If The Times [is] right and Boris Johnson will abandon a clean break Brexit, and he wins an election on this, we will never be free of EU rules.”
Mr Farage launched his party’s election campaign on Friday. He softened his no-deal Brexit stance and again extended the offer of a “Leave Alliance” to Mr Johnson so long as he drops the EU-approved treaty and seeks a free trade agreement with the EU instead. The prime minister rejected the offer.
The veteran Leave campaigner appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning to reveal that he would not be running for a parliamentary seat in the December 12th poll. He said he would be “serving the Brexit cause” by travelling the length and breadth of Great Britain to campaign for his 600 party colleagues instead.
Mr Farage told Andrew Marr: “My fear is if Boris gets this treaty through, we will never get independence and that’s why I’m saying all the prime minister has to do is change course, and I would back him 100 per cent.”
Later, he told Sky News: “There’s only one party offering Brexit, and that’s the Brexit Party. What Boris is offering is a Remainer’s Brexit. We’ll be tied to EU institutions for years; we’ll have massive, ongoing financial liabilities. It’s not Brexit. That’s why I’m urging him to drop the EU treaty and let’s go for a proper Brexit.”
Mr Farage claimed in an interview with The Sunday Times that the Conservatives had tried to “buy” his backing with “Christmas baubles” in exchange for the Brexit Party not challenging Tory seats.
“We won’t be bought,” he told the newspaper.
He said that he was twice offered a peerage and that a safe Tory seat was “dangled” in front of a senior Brexit Party official, while another party MEP was approached over standing for the Tories.
On the alleged offer of a seat in the House of Lords, Mr Farage said: “That happened twice, but we are going back a couple of months. They thought the deal was that if I accepted that, we would only fight a few seats.
“That came from two very close sources — one from an adviser and one a minister, not a member of the cabinet, suggesting this was the right thing to do. I said I was not interested.
“One of my very close colleagues was offered one of the safest Conservative seats in the country yesterday morning. A very senior figure. They rejected it outright. It was a shire counties seat.”
A Conservative source told the newspaper that the claims were “unsubstantiated gossip”, but did not outright deny them.